A Graph Can Speak Volumes

That trend line is more than self explanatory. Were we to go back one more president, you would see that Saint Ronald came into a debt below a trillion dollars and ran up way more debt than all the previous presidents. Reagan left us the “Laffer curve” and over $3 Trillion in debt.

Bush 1 nearly matched Reagan driving the debt up even more. Clinton reduced the debt and produced budget surpluses that were used to pay down the debt. Had Al Gore been chosen as president by SCOTUS in 2001, the debt may have been wiped out. There was even a commission called during the Clinton administration to explore what being out of debt would mean for the economy.

But by selecting Junior Bush as president, SCOTUS avoided the problem of being out of debt. Bush ran the debt up like a drunken frat boy. Obama once again cut deficits as Democrats do when they are in office, but Republicans in congress definitely tied his hands on what he could do, especially in respect to raising taxes.

Then the Trump disaster happened. Excessive tax cuts ballooned the deficit and the national debt. He also left a nation crippled by a pandemic with no plan nor programs to address the pandemic. President Biden inherit a gawd awful mess. 

Since being elected president, Biden has attacked the pandemic, rebuilt the economy and cut the deficit. During these massive fixes to the country that was left in shambles by Trump, Republicans in congress have not lifted one finger to help.

Now, Republican Leader McCarthy is threatening to throw not only the US but the whole world economic system into the crapper. Why? I guess because he can. He has power that he wants to use to show he has power. Get it? He is willing to upend the world economy by defaulting on the US debt just to show he can. He must be insane.

To default would be the most irresponsible action a congress has ever committed. Remember, they are the ones who ran up the debt to such enormous proportions.

Please contact your Republican congress member and tell them to quit using the debt ceiling as a bargaining tool. It isn’t a bargaining tool. It is debt they ran up. If they refuse to pay the bills the consequences will be catastrophic.

You guys know how to use google to find your congress members. In Iowa they are all Republicans. So call or write them and make your message clear: defaulting on our debts is bad, really bad. Stand up and raise the debt ceiling. America knows who is at fault in this dispute.

As a side note, calling is best. I have been been writing my Republican congress member (Miller-Meeks) and she nor her staff ever respond. Seems like some of that debt could be reduced by not paying do nothing congress members.

on the money cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Here is a short history of the debt ceiling from Heather Cox Richardson’s substack email:  

The debt ceiling is not about future spending; future spending is debated when Congress takes up the budget. The debt ceiling is a curious holdover from the past, when Congress actually wanted to enable the government to be flexible in its borrowing rather than holding the financial reins too tightly. In the era of World War I, when the country needed to raise a lot of money fast, Congress stopped passing specific revenue measures and instead set a cap on how much money the government could borrow through all of the different instruments it used.

Beginning in the 1980s, though, Republicans began to use the debt ceiling as a political cudgel because if it is not raised when Congress spends more than it has the ability to repay, the country will default on its debts. Republicans focused on cutting taxes, initially promising that tax cuts would not require any cuts to services because they would nurture the economy so effectively that tax revenues would increase despite the cuts. Immediately, though, both deficits—the difference between what the government spends and what it takes in—and the debt, which is the total sum that the government owes, ballooned.

That skyrocketing debt means that Congress repeatedly has to increase the amount that the Treasury borrows to pay the country’s bills. That is, it must lift the debt ceiling. Congress has raised the debt ceiling more than 100 times since it first went into effect, including 18 times under Ronald Reagan as well as 3 times under former president Donald Trump.

The United States has never defaulted on its debt. When Republicans threatened to push a debt crisis in late 2021, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a default “could trigger a spike in interest rates, a steep drop in stock prices, and other financial turmoil. Our current economic recovery would reverse into recession, with billions of dollars of growth and millions of jobs lost.” It would jeopardize the status of the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency. Financial services firm Moody’s Analytics warned that a default would cost up to 6 million jobs, create an unemployment rate of nearly 9%, and wipe out $15 trillion in household wealth. {much more at link}

Pay attention to this – especially you senior citizens.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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